couple/couple of

If you’ve ever read a sentence like the one below and thought there was a word missing, you were correct.

I’ll have a couple scoops of ice cream.

What’s missing? It’s the preposition of after couple.

The word couple is different from the number two. Though “two scoops” is correct, couple requires the addition of the preposition of. Couple without the of is informal and should be avoided in writing and professional communication.

The sentence should read:

I’ll have a couple of scoops of ice cream.

Posted in Word Choice.

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